Tips on explaining/helping kiddos w/ Daddy leaving... — The Bump
Military Families

Tips on explaining/helping kiddos w/ Daddy leaving...

My husband just joined the army and will be leaving for about 6 months for bootcamp & training.  I know this will be really hard on our boys and was looking for tips/advice on how to explain this to them and help them get through this time period.

 Thank you in advance :)

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Re: Tips on explaining/helping kiddos w/ Daddy leaving...

  • Two tips: First, go to MilitaryOneSource.com and order the free Sesame Street DVD about deployment/separation that's for young children (and if you're not yet familiar with the site, spend some time checking out all the resources and info - excellent for new military families - there are online classes you can take to get familiar with Army life!), and second, if you can afford it or a family member can gift it, order some Daddy dolls for your children - I waited a while to get one for my toddler but wish I'd done it sooner because she loves it and carries it everywhere!
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  • My kids have pretty much always had to deal with Daddy being gone.  When he is going to be gone for a while, we explain to them that Daddy has to go to work for a long time. 

    I let them help me send things to him while he is gone.  They gather drawings and pictures to send to him.  They know those things make him happy and they feel like they are sending him a piece of home.  We also have what we call the "Daddy Wall."  That is a wall that we tape drawings, pictures and things from school on for him to see when he gets home.  They love to fill the Daddy Wall.

    Hallmark has recordable books.  We got one called All the Ways I Love You.  H recorded himself reading the pages.  My kids love that book.  My daughter was 3 when we got it.  She was convinced that when she opened that book, her daddy stopped everything he was doing in Afghanistan and read that book to her.  That book is her treasure.  She loves it.  I highly recomend it. 

    When he calls home, he may not have much time.  Put the phone on speaker for a minute and let them all talk.  Those precious moments will get him through until the next time he can call. 

    GL  I hope that helps some.

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  • Thank you both very much!  Our oldest will be 6 and 3 at the time he leaves and I know they will have a tough transition.  I really appreciate you suggestions :)
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  • imageiluvmytxrgr:

    I let them help me send things to him while he is gone.  They gather drawings and pictures to send to him.  They know those things make him happy and they feel like they are sending him a piece of home.  We also have what we call the "Daddy Wall."  That is a wall that we tape drawings, pictures and things from school on for him to see when he gets home.  They love to fill the Daddy Wall.

    Love this Daddy Wall idea! In another year or so, this will be great for my daughter. And I agree about recordable books. We don't have any, but we made videos of my husband reading some of her favorite books and we watch them and read along.

  • imageseastar77:
    Two tips: First, go to MilitaryOneSource.com and order the free Sesame Street DVD about deployment/separation that's for young children (and if you're not yet familiar with the site, spend some time checking out all the resources and info - excellent for new military families - there are online classes you can take to get familiar with Army life!)

    I haven't had to deal with this yet, but I have worked with young children dealing with deployments, and the Sesame Street show is a great way to open up discussion about dad or mom being gone. I actually got to take a small group of "my" special needs kids to see the live show, and they absolutely loved it! 

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